US records more than 184,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours
The United States recorded 184,346 new daily COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour time span, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday.
The 184,346 new daily cases was a significant jump from the previous day, which saw 24,234 new daily COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins.
The country is averaging about 108,000 new infections and 700,000 COVID-19 vaccines administered a day. The seven-day average for deaths rose from about 270 deaths per day two weeks ago to nearly 500 a day as of Aug. 6, according to Johns Hopkins.
Much of the surge is being driven by the highly transmissible delta variant and low vaccination rates in the South and other areas.
FILE - Registered nurse, works with a COVID positive patients room inside the ICU at Providence St. Jude Medical Center Christmas Day on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020 in Fullerton, CA.
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The delta variant, first detected in India, has quickly become dominant wherever it has landed, including the U.S. It has been listed as a "variant of concern" by the CDC, and the agency said it’s just as contagious as chickenpox.
Citing new information about the variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status in late July. The agency also recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks in areas of significant transmission, which accounts for most of the counties across the U.S.
Meanwhile, in multiple states, hospital admissions have skyrocketed among adults and some children as the delta variant continues to sweep through the population.
In Texas, two of Houston’s biggest school districts are updating their health protocols amid a worrying number of pediatric COVID-19 cases.
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"We're seeing lots of pediatric ICU admissions and children's hospitals filling up and we never saw that before. While everybody's you know bickering about masks or no masks, I said that's small, that's small potatoes at this point. Masks are the least of it. We've got to get everybody vaccinated and that means all of the adolescents, teachers, and staff. That also probably means we may need to look at whether we can accelerate our timetable towards vaccinating school-aged kids, ages 5 to 11," Dr. Peter Hotez, from Texas Children's Hospital, said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging the FDA to quickly expand authorization of COVID-19 vaccines to younger age groups, citing rising cases due to the fast-spreading delta variant and risk of poor outcomes following infection.
"We need to be approaching the trials and authorization of the COVID vaccine for children with the same urgency that we did with adults," Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the AAP, told ABC co-hosts on Tuesday. "Just as it’s a serious disease in adults, it can be a very serious disease in children."
Pfizer has said it intends to request emergency approval for use of its vaccine in kids aged 5 to 11 by the end of September, with plans to submit data on younger kids aged 6 months to 5 years "shortly thereafter."
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The FDA had requested drugmakers behind authorized COVID-19 vaccines to broaden the size of pediatric clinical trials to better detect rare adverse events. Moderna previously told FOX News that it expects "to have a package that supports authorization in winter 2021/early 2022" for kids under 12.
In Brevard County, Florida, emergency management officials are pleading with residents to only go to the emergency room or call an ambulance if they truly have an emergency.
The warning comes as all three of the county's hospital systems are experiencing a "troubling influx of patients with COVID-19 symptoms in the ERs."
Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief Mark Schollmeyer said those unnecessarily going to the ER are slowing response times for those who truly need emergency care.
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"We’ve had a couple instances where a hospital in the county has gone on diversion because they’re at capacity with patients which causes a delay because then our closest units to the particular hospital have to transport outside their zone to another hospital further away," Schollmeyer said.
Mississippi, meanwhile, reported that 35 medical centers are completely out of intensive care unit beds. Arkansas topped its pandemic record for COVID-19 admissions in the past week, and the average number of people hospitalized nationwide has returned to levels not seen since February.
Health officials fear that cases, hospitalizations and deaths will continue to soar if more Americans don’t embrace the vaccines which have been widely available since spring. The CDC reported that 71% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose.
"Our models show that if we don’t (vaccinate people), we could be up to several hundred thousand cases a day, similar to our surge in early January," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said on CNN last week.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said on Aug. 8 that he was hopeful the Food and Drug Administration will give full approval to the coronavirus vaccine by month's end and predicted the potential move will spur a wave of vaccine mandates in the private sector as well as schools and universities.
"I hope — I don’t predict — I hope that it will be within the next few weeks. I hope it’s within the month of August," Fauci said of FDA approval of the vaccine. "If that’s the case, you’re going to see the empowerment of local enterprises, giving mandates that could be colleges, universities, places of business, a whole variety and I strongly support that. The time has come. ... We’ve got to go the extra step to get people vaccinated."
The Associated Press, FOX News, FOX 26 Houston and FOX 35 Orlando contributed to this report.